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pktrekgirl
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Post by pktrekgirl »

And I don't think not knowing where to start drawing Bette Davis makes you 'tainted'. It makes perfect sense to me, actually.

Especially given what I wrote above. It's really hard to feel comfortable and connected when drawing someone who doesn't give anything away to you. The result, I would suspect, would look rather 'cardboardish".

Personally, I think it would be REALLY hard to draw Bette Davis...because she was pretty much ALWAYS acting. Even when she wasn't. She was a very driven woman...and I'm not sure we would even WANT to see her with her mask down. Frankly, I think it would scare me!

But exactly the opposite is Olivia deHavilland. She was a great actress...but even in photos and interviews today, when she is in her 90's, you can see HER. The sweetness in her that is real - no act. Almost an impishness that is just so sweet...and so REAL.

Valentino falls into that category in alot of photos too. In some, he is clearly trying to be what everyone expected - the 'great lover'. But in several others...what you REALLY see, if you look into his eyes, is a little boy in many ways - a person who wanted things to be ALOT simpler than they were. A person who really just wanted to be taken care of.

Bleh! Now look who's blabbing too much! :lol:
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bobhopefan1940
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Post by bobhopefan1940 »

8) I love talking about art and photography, now that is my real passion (photography). I've never considered myself a real artist, I don't think I am. I simply take an image and copy it. I used to do cartoons, which led to characatures (sp?)... I always felt like those were my only true renderings, because they came from me not a copy of a photo. Many hate these, they think they are stupid. But I identify with them much more... I had a drawing of a baby somewhere on my computer, I drew years ago. It was a distant member of the family, taken in the forties. I found the photo and drew it, but no inspiration other than the fact I liked the image :( It's disappointing to an "artist" when the art they create does not come from within... Disappointing to me, I guess. I have such short lived satisfaction with my portraits. Looking at your beautiful work, I can imagine the satisfaction you get from coming up with a design that is all your own... Now that is real art in my oppinion! 8)

:D But you know, I haven't thought about it that much really... But wow, you are bringing up so many things that are making alot of sense to me, and my drawing. Usually when I sit down to draw something, it's because the picture has spoken to me. I'm sure it is just the same way when you create a wallpaper or avatar, the images speak to you. Look what you did with my Bob pic!! It's amazing to be able to do that... Be inspired by an image of someone you really don't know much about, you seem to enjoy the challenge whereas I run from it.

I know just what you mean about some people that look rather lifeless in their photos, Cary Grant reminds me alot of this. It just looks like he is acting while the photo is taken, I don't feel connected to him. Where as it is the opposite with Gary Cooper. Or Buster Keaton, when I first saw a photo of him I was fascinated. He just looked so real, so emotional. Before I had ever seen him in a movie I was interested in his portraits, they spoke that much to me. I guess then when I finally sat down to watch him in a film, it was like those portraits brought to life. And that explains my fanatical love for him now. I love Cary Grant, but rarely do I find a portrait I like. I probably have one or two...

Do you have anymore stars you could comment on about their photos? It's interesting to hear another's honest thoughts on that, who they think looks "to or beyond" the camera. I wonder where that comes from in an individual anyway... Perhaps it shows depth (?).
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland
"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin
"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton
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Post by pktrekgirl »

Humm....well, let me think about people whose photos I have spent alot of time with and studied....

Chaplin -

Well, I think Chaplin is very 'real' in many photos I've seen of him. There are alot of candid shots of Chaplin (actually alot of photos of him PERIOD - he is likely one of the most photographed film stars ever, judging by what I've seen - I myself own THREE GIANT coffee table books on Chaplin...and there are still others that I don't own...yet)...and of course the candids in particular show you a bit about him - namely that he was an incredibly intense and focused individual...but that he just LOVED what he did and wouldn't be doing anything else.

His portraits are more posed, of course...but you still get the sense of what he was like - brilliant...and always thinking. And in photos with others (even ones that are staged), he always looks like he is having a genuinely good time - witness the photo shoots of him and the other founders of United Artists - he's always laughing in those photos.

But one thing you ALWAYS feel from any photo of him - he is in charge. And this goes for pretty much all photos - early candids of him directing, later candids of him with his family, portraits...you name it. And of course, that makes sense, because he was a known control freak of ginormous proportions.

Even the character of The Tramp is in control of his own destiny, ultimately. He may be poor and sometimes victimized...but the Tramp never compromises. He lives life on his own terms - by hook or by crook. And simply tries to avoid as many of the consequences that result from holding that attitude as possible.

And so even in photos of The Tramp...you see alot of who Chaplin really was, IMO - the guy who was gonna do it HIS way. :lol:

So I think the body of photography related to Chaplin gives you a pretty good idea of the man. Although part of that is likely related to the sheer volume of photography done on him. If you look at only one or two portraits, you'll see enough of him to know he was extremely brilliant...and extremely focused.

But now that I think of it, that is chiefly what he WAS - brilliant and focused.

Errol Flynn

Errol Flynn is about half and half.

I own basically every book that was ever written on Errol Flynn...and collect memorabilia related to him...so I have seen ALOT of photos of Flynn - more than most people, probably. In most of his portraits he is not looking past the camera. A few - yes. But most, not. In the ones where he is looking past the camera, he is nearly always looking amused...and so those are usually my favorites. Because the look in Errol Flynn's eyes when he is amused is hard to beat! :lol:

But in staged photo-shoots where he is doing something he really likes - I'm thinking particularly of photos of him on The Zaca - you see much more of the REAL Errol Flynn.

And in pretty much all candids, he is himself, I believe.

Whereas Bette Davis (as one example) never let her guard down - even for candids, Flynn did. There are a ton of photos of him at parties, hanging around on the set, with his kids, on his boat (you DO know that the yacht used in LADY FROM SHANGHAI was actually Errol Flynn's boat IRL, right?) and such...and in those, you see the real him.

But I will say this about Errol Flynn - it's difficult for me to be completely objective about the photography related to him, because due to the fact that he was a writer and had one autobiography and two semi-autobiographical novels published, pretty much anyone who has read those 'knows' Errol Flynn. The bazillions of photos only enhance the person you get to know in those books, in my mind. The man was breathtaking to look at...but I'd rather read those books of his any day, because that is REALLY the creative pursuit where you will find him - not in photography. Because those books are really more illustrative of his personality than they are of the actual facts about his life - they are extraordinary books in that regard...and unlike most Hollywood autobiographies. Flynn is more concerned with entertaining you than informing you...and that way of writing leaves you with a much better understanding of HIM....even if the 'facts' are sometimes sacrificed.

So I'm not really a good judge when it comes to him...because all of the photos of him I look at are quite possibly 'distilled' through his actual words - his actual 'conversation' with me...and all of his other readers.

That makes it difficult to be objective about the photography, I think...because his readers really DO know him - they don't really have to guess at what he was like through photography combined with the actual historical record. They really do know him, I believe.

I'll have to think about others....

Do you have any actors that you'd like to discuss with regard to this stuff??? Because this is all quite interesting to me. :)
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bobhopefan1940
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Post by bobhopefan1940 »

I agree on Chaplin, actually our conversation here sparked more curiosity in me. He is an incredibly fascinating person, I always enjoy reading more about him. I think not only was he himself in images, but also when the film was rolling. Sure, he may have been in character, but I think he put so much of himself and his feeling into his films that you really do get a feel for who he was.

I have always loved Chaplin, but I went through and watched all my old DVDs of him last night, the set from 1914. I had never actually watched all of them, but there were a few I missed before. Obviously, you've seen these before... lol Some were very interesting! I even think his earliest work was pretty entertaining, especially shorts like A Busy Day and I found Charlie's Recreation interesting because he is totally out of Tramp costume :D

And I watched Limelight for the first time last night, and I felt like an idiot crying at it. I thought it was a sad movie, but I thought Chaplin was adorable in it. I loved his hair, and I've always been a huge fan of his voice... The scene where he is fantasizing about his past performances and he turns to see the audience gone :cry: Oh, well - I've gotten off on Chaplin's films more than his images, sorry!

I don't know that much about Flynn, I'll honestly say I have never seen any of his films. I did download some images of him for a friend of mine, who just adores him. Other than that, I have not seen much of him :( Any suggestions for first flicks? Got any fave pics of him you'd like to share? Maybe some of the ones you think are more expressive of who he was. :)

Did you ever visit simplyclassics.net before it went MIA? They had some beautiful pictures of Chaplin out of costume, and some wonderful pics of Flynn I know. All high resolution scans, much like doctmacro.com but without the standard of quality.
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland
"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin
"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton
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Post by Hollis »

BobHopeFan,

The drawings you did show a lot of talent. I've been drawing off and on since childhood and most people say I have (had) a certain amount of talent. But when it comes to the human form, especially portraits, like you've done, I'm lost! I'd have trouble rendering a smiley face with any realism! It must take a lot of patience to do the sort of drawings you posted. So much detail is evident in your work. Maybe that's what threw me? Have you ever worked in any other medium? I'll bet you'd be good working with pen and ink or even pastels. I especially like the William Powell drawing. It's dead on perfect.

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moira finnie
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Wow

Post by moira finnie »

I love this thread, and Bobhopefan, you have great sensitivity as an artist and as a poster. Thanks so much for posting the finely rendered William Powell & Robert Montgomery drawings. Btw, I don't think you mentioned this, but aside from photography, do you enjoy drawing as a preliminary activity for painting or as an end in itself. The reason that I ask is because drawing is probably my favorite medium for artwork--I actually prefer a drawing to an oil painting and even most other forms, though of course, I appreciate the skill and thought that goes into the work. I've been a drawer all my life, especially of animals, and have written and illustrated some unpublished children's books, but that's another story...

Danny, you mentioned that you
watched Limelight for the first time last night, and...felt like an idiot crying at it. I thought it was a sad movie, but I thought Chaplin was adorable in it. I loved his hair, and I've always been a huge fan of his voice... The scene where he is fantasizing about his past performances and he turns to see the audience gone
I'd be more worried if Limelight didn't make someone feel like crying! I think it's Chaplin's summing up of his lifework, and I especially love the scene in which he chides Claire Bloom gently about her despair, trying to get her to realize that there's bravery & heroism in just getting up in the morning and trying. Must view this one again, soon.

One other thing struck me as I read through the responses of Pktrekgirl & Hollis. Isn't it funny how so many of us have that aesthetic impulse and try to pursue it, but always seem to feel a little apologetic about it sometimes? I guess the world keeps us humble, though I hope that none of you lose the desire to do something artistic. I could get on my soapbox now about the need for more people to pursue some form of artistic expression, but I won't. Hope that all of you have a great day. Your posts did alot to lift my spirits.
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Post by bobhopefan1940 »

Thanks so much Hollis and Moira, you are all very kind. :D It's nice to meet others who like to draw... I bet your art is beautiful! Portraits are difficult, but I'm stumped when it comes to drawing anything else. See like I was telling pk I lack the ability sometimes just to branch out on my own and to come up with something totally original. But I would love to see any of your art, I'll guarantee it is stunning.

Hollis, I've found through out my life art never leaves you, once an artist always an artist. Good, bad, or indifferent... That's one thing you cannot shake.

Children's books, Moira? How fascinating! My parents wanted me to that when I was little... I admire you, I hope you get one published - I'd love to see it.

I rarely work with any other medium but pencil, I'm afraid. My mother is an admirer of my paintings :lol: But you know how that goes :wink: Ah... Only a mother's love! They are hanging on the wall in front of me, and I really don't like them at all, but they make her happy. I guess that's all that matters. I tried working with charcoal or pastels but no dice. Ink is a different story, I played around more with that when I was younger, with some unpredictable results.

Thanks to all of you again for your responses to these drawings, I can't believe folks say the Powell on is dead on, I almost balled it up after I finished it. But you have all inspired me to do more art, and I thank you for that :)

Danny

Ps, Moira - Thanks for making me feel like not such a goof about crying at Limelight... I cried at Since You Went Away the other night, too. I have never cried at so many movies in all my life. :cry: Are these movies getting sadder or am I getting more sensitive? :lol: Oh gosh, and The Best Years Of Our Lives is coming on the 25th... :(
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland
"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin
"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton
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Post by pktrekgirl »

Hi bobhopefan! Sorry to take so long to respond - I was feeling kinda puny and not on the board over the weekend, and I wanted to work on this post at home because it requires more thought than alot of the foolishness I post elsewhere. :lol:

So this is really my first opportunity, now that avatar making is done for the night.
bobhopefan1940 wrote:I agree on Chaplin, actually our conversation here sparked more curiosity in me. He is an incredibly fascinating person, I always enjoy reading more about him. I think not only was he himself in images, but also when the film was rolling. Sure, he may have been in character, but I think he put so much of himself and his feeling into his films that you really do get a feel for who he was.
Well, I think this is true. The Tramp had to have been large part Chaplin himself...or he never would have been able to think all this stuff up.

And because all of Chaplin's films are so layered with meaning (not just a string of gags, but situations intended to pull at the viewer's emotions, and oftentimes teach a social lesson as well) I do think that Chaplin put alot of himself and his beliefs into them. Certainly alot of the scenery Chaplin used, while mainly in Los Angeles, was selected with the intention of 'recreating' the poverty of Chaplin's own youth - it was a condition he was all too familiar with...and he used poverty as a central theme for a huge chunk of his films.


I have always loved Chaplin, but I went through and watched all my old DVDs of him last night, the set from 1914. I had never actually watched all of them, but there were a few I missed before. Obviously, you've seen these before... lol Some were very interesting! I even think his earliest work was pretty entertaining, especially shorts like A Busy Day and I found Charlie's Recreation interesting because he is totally out of Tramp costume :D
Wow, you did go back to some early ones, didn't you! I like the early ones - all of the Keystones I've seen, for example...and the Essanays. But IMO Chaplin really comes into his own during the Mutuals. I LOVE those films. I could watch 1 A.M. every day and never tire of it, I think it's so funny.


And I watched Limelight for the first time last night, and I felt like an idiot crying at it. I thought it was a sad movie, but I thought Chaplin was adorable in it. I loved his hair, and I've always been a huge fan of his voice... The scene where he is fantasizing about his past performances and he turns to see the audience gone :cry: Oh, well - I've gotten off on Chaplin's films more than his images, sorry!
No problem...I guess I have also... :lol: But Chaplin is a favorite of mine...so I love talking about him every which way!
don't know that much about Flynn, I'll honestly say I have never seen any of his films. I did download some images of him for a friend of mine, who just adores him. Other than that, I have not seen much of him :( Any suggestions for first flicks? Got any fave pics of him you'd like to share? Maybe some of the ones you think are more expressive of who he was. :)
Oh my, my, my...Now you have me rooting around in Errol Flynn photos.

I could be here all night. :lol:

I think that a combination of Errol Flynn, Gary Cooper, Rudolph Valentino and Johnny Depp photos take up about 1/4 of my hard drive. :lol:

But if I had to pick one photo that expressed the most what Errol Flynn was all about in real life, it would be this one:

Image

You can't really see into his eyes very well in this one, but this photo more than any other of Flynn says it all. The Zaca while she was at sea was where he was happiest, and Flynn quite literally sailed all over the world on that boat. And you can tell from this photo that he loved sailing and the sea with a passion. It really was his first love.

Now that I think of it, acting was pretty far down the list in terms of his passions. Certainly the sea was first - that's a given. Writing was probably second...and probably traveling/adventure in general was third. Reading was probably fourth.

He was a really fascinating individual.

As for films, I'd be happy to recommend Errol Flynn films. But first I'd like to know a bit about the sort of films you enjoy. Do you prefer adventure/swashbuckler films...because he made a TON of those.

But he also made some cute romantic comedies toward the beginning of his career...several westerns, and a few very good war movies.

Probably the easiest of his films to see on TCM would be The Adventures of Robin Hood (alot of people's favorite Flynn film, but my 4th favorite), Captain Blood (probably my favorite Flynn film - and interestingly, his first starring role. This film needs to be watched with the idea in mind that at the time it was made, he was an unknown that Jack Warner was 'taking a chance on' - that'll give you an idea of just how quickly he rocketed to stardom after this film was released), and probably Dodge City (one of his best westerns). But my personal favorite Flynn films are:

1. Captain Blood (Pirates! But for a good reason. :P Plus Olivia! This is where they became the cutest couple EVER! And Basil Rathbone is excellent as well. Get used to seeing Flynn and Rathbone in sword fights - they have alot of them over the years.)

2. The Charge of the Light Brigade (David Niven, Olivia deHavilland, Patric Knowles and others) - huge production involving one of the biggest calvary-like battle scenes ever done. IMO, Flynn is at his absolutely most stunningly beautiful in this film - WHOA BABY! :shock: )

3. The Dawn Patrol (war film about flyers - with David Niven and Basil Rathbone)

4. The Adventures of Robin Hood (I believe the first technicolor film ever made? But great story, great cast - including Olivia deHavilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains and others)

5. Objective, Burma! (a war film - not a single woman in the whole thing, as best I can remember - unusual for a Flynn picture)

6. The Adventures of Don Juan (hilarious, but better if you know alot about Flynn because he parodies himself...and shows off Errol's real life sense of humor)

7. The Sisters (a romance! With Bette Davis! Before they hated each other! :lol: )

8. Gentleman Jim (boxing and Alexis Smith)

9. The Sea Hawk (more pirates with a purpose!)

10. Footsteps in the Dark (adorably cute romantic comedy/mystery). Highly underrated by fans who think all Errol is good at is waving a sword.

11. They Died With Their Boots On (last film of 8 films done with Olivia - sad on and off screen. Flynn as Custer. And you know what happens to Custer. :P )

12. Cry Wolf (not really my 12th favorite, but unusual in that it is a very dark mystery with Barbara Stanwyck)


Did you ever visit simplyclassics.net before it went MIA? They had some beautiful pictures of Chaplin out of costume, and some wonderful pics of Flynn I know. All high resolution scans, much like doctmacro.com but without the standard of quality.
Oh yes...I snagged alot of their photos - Flynn, Cooper, Chaplin, Valentino, Myrna Loy, Kay Francis, William Powell, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, James Cagney, Charles Boyer and a few others. Wish I'd gotten more now...but I have alot of photos so I shouldn't be greedy. :D
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bobhopefan1940
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Post by bobhopefan1940 »

Now it's my turn to apologize ;) But it is finals week and I have just gotten home from an exaustive night class, packed full of test info :P Where do I start? About Flynn...

You know, his adventures of Robin Hood is an essential this week so I guess I should check it out! I've never been really attracted to Flynn, but maybe this will change my oppinion. I did love the photo you posted, I can see what you mean! I love your chart for your faves :D I would love to see his romantic comedies, since I have only heard about his adventure movies.

I have a classics folder on my computer, I'd hate to embarrass myself with the amount of photos, and who they are of ;) Let's just say my taste is a little odd! :lol:

I showed a friend of mine Chaplin's The Kid just last night. I had shown her a few silents before, but she never liked them much... I have to say, it is so much fun showing someone a film that you know they will get something out of. You should have heard the reactions! Laughing, crying, it was really wonderful.

Um, I'm a little new to Chaplin of course... Can you explain "Mutuals" to me? :oops:
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland
"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin
"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton
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Post by MissGoddess »

Great jumping butterballs! How did it take me sooooo long to get to this folder!! You ladies are stupendous, Danny what can I say about your Powell and Bobby drawings? I won't dare post my pathetic renderings I did in London years ago (and I did tackle Bette Davis) after seeing yours! I know how tough it is to get the spirit of the human being into a hand-drawn image---especially when you are working from an image instead of from the live model. If the photo you are copying from didn't capture something essential, it's almost impossible to convey it by hand but you picked two excellent shots and improved them, as only the human hand can.

I have always gravitated to portraits as opposed to photographs because of the immaterial which they can capture is so much more evocative than the "representative" aspects of a photograph. I admit I simply haven't the patience at this time to go back to drawing and on to painting as I've often planned. One day, though.

And to continue, Danny, what is further remarkable and deserving of praise is that you chose two particularly difficult subjects. There is a lot of "roundness" in their features and for me, at least, I find this the most difficult kind of face to draw satisfactorily. I've had a much easier time working from the rugged/craggy lines of Bogart, Sinatra, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne than I did with Bette Davis, who was another with rounded planes and features. Kudos to you and I hope you continue. I'm saving your images to my Photobucket. :D

PK---I'm thoroughly appreciating the discussion between you and Danny about art and photography, as well as about how certain peformers interact with the still camera. It's interesting that some of the most dynamic personalities and "faces" in motion pictures make for often static subjects for the still photographer. I know just what you mean by the subject looking into the camera or past it.

You mentioned a candid shot of Bogie and Errol capturing the "real" Bogie better than his studio publicity photos and that is precisely why I find searching for candid photos of the stars to be my particularly favorite pursuit.

I can't help but fall back on the hackneyed truism, "The camera loved them." This means to me more than that they were photogenic or looked great on film, but that you could always see the spirit in their eyes, the real emotion behind the dialogue, which some performers, regardless how talented, simply cannot convey. It's no fault of their own necessarily, they may simply lack something physiologically that blocks them from revealing thought or feeling on their faces.

Sorry to ramble on, but I hope the discussion continues as it's among the best threads I've come across in a long time. (And you're right PK---I try to think a little harder as I type here, than in my goofy "gurgles" elsewhere. :wink: )
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Post by MissGoddess »

And ladies, before I forget: I'm happy to let you know simpleyclassics.net is back up. I don't know what happened to it but I was almost panicking for a while---it's such a great source for high quality pix! :P
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Post by bobhopefan1940 »

:oops: You are too sweet! Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face today, it has been a rough week. I really appreciate what your said about my art, but I do wish you would post some of yours :P I'm sure it is fantastic and I hate being the only one who has posted any pencil work :cry: I don't think anything you could with the backdrop of London could be anything less than satisfactory!! :wink:

But sheesh, thanks for saving my images :D I like rugged faces, too... I prefer them when I draw because there is more room for error and much more opportunity for inspiration. I once drew the guy from House (Hugh Laurie) for my mother :lol: But that has nothing to do with classics.
MissGoddess wrote: And ladies, before I forget: I'm happy to let you know simpleyclassics.net is back up. I don't know what happened to it but I was almost panicking for a while---it's such a great source for high quality pix!
:!: PLEASE post the link if you can... I keep typing "simplyclassics.net" into my browser but it only sends me to some generic site. Help!
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland
"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin
"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton
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Post by MissGoddess »

Certainly dahlinks, here is the way to Simplyclassics:

http://www.simplyclassics.net/index2.html
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Post by MissGoddess »

As for posting my own pics, I'll have to look at them again, if any are not tooooooooo embarrassing, I'll consider it. But I don't know....after seeing yours and PKs work I don't want to look like a goof! :P

Maybe I'll take a few hundred art classes first and get back to you...meanwhile I have been busy uploading a gazillion Bobby M. pictures into my Photobucket for "future reference"

Danny---off topic I know but I did want to ask you if you've seen Bobby in PETTICOAT FEVER. It's with Myrna and a goodie. Maybe I need to start him his own "thread" in People of Film.
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Post by movieman1957 »

Miss G:

From someone who can't draw a straight line, please consider posting them. I write songs and do them mainly for my church band. I know when I think my songs may be average at best someone comes along and mentions how much they liked it or how it spoke to them. But with songs they're gone as soon as I'm done. So, I know that you may think they are less than you might want it to be, your art can speak to others. It can move them.

For those (like me) who lack the talent to do what you do, no matter how you see them, it can be wonderful for us. The hard part is not comparing your art to Danny or pktrekgirl but it is yours. That is what is important.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
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